WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – President Barack Obama was saddened by the passing of Helen Thomas, who died at the age of 92 in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

Thomas was regarded as a pioneer for women in journalism as the longest-tenured reporter covering the White House, a span which included 10 presidents over 5 decades, dating back to John F.  Kennedy’s time in the oval office.

She was the only reporter with her name inscribed on a chair in the White House briefing room.

Upon learning of her death, Obama issued the following statement:

“Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Helen Thomas. Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism. She covered every White House since President Kennedy’s, and during that time she never failed to keep presidents – myself included – on their toes. What made Helen the “Dean of the White House Press Corps” was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account. Our thoughts are with Helen’s family, her friends, and the colleagues who respected her so deeply.”

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